Atlético captain Koke jumps to defence of Athletic Club’s Nico Williams

Atlético Madrid star Koke has on Saturday night moved to show his support for Athletic Club’s Nico Williams.

As much comes after Williams was subjected to alleged racist abuse during the La Liga meeting between the clubs earlier this evening.

Atlético played host to Athletic a short time ago, in a crunch showdown amid the ongoing battle for Champions League football in Spain’s top-flight.

When all was said and done, it was the former who emerged on the right side of the result, owing to goals on the part of all of Rodrigo De Paul, Ángel Correa, and Unai Simón (OG).

Diego Simeone’s troops, as a result, have opened up a six-point advantage over the rest of the top-4 chasing pack.

And yet, as alluded to above, an otherwise stellar night’s work for Atlético was soured by sections of the club’s fanbase.

Late in the first-half at the Wanda Metropolitano, the aforementioned Nico Williams asked for the game to be brought to a halt.

This came amid alleged racist insults and chants from a section of the home crowd.

The situation was ultimately resolved, with Williams having agreed to continue, but the incident nevertheless cast another dark cloud over Spanish football as a whole.

Speaking to the media on the back of the full-time whistle on Saturday, Atlético captain Koke, in turn, was asked for his take on the grim scenes in Madrid.

And the midfielder went on to throw his full support behind Athletic’s gifted young winger:

“First of all, if something has happened to Nico, send him a lot of encouragement and a lot of strength because in either society or in football, people like that (those who hurl racist insults) have no place,” Koke explained to DAZN, as cited by Mundo Deportivo. “The players, Atlético and the fans are in favour of Nico and against these situations that should not happen either in society or on a football field.”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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